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Yenny
1995
Deluxe fujichrome on plastified cardboard
Dimensions: 179 x 125.5 cm
Reference: ACF0657
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Jenny, Manguito and some other photographs in the same series were produced by Ana Laura Aláez in 1995, during one of her lengthy stays in New York. In all of them the models are people from her circle, friends who look like sophisticated stars, redolent with glamour and seduction: a Japanese singer in this case, in others a gallery-owner, a jewellery designer, a karate black belt or other Basque artists. In her works Aláez has glorified the worlds of fashion, advertising and the cinema and, in general, the items of clothing and body ornaments with which we try to construct ourselves an image of seduction. But one of the most radical elements in her attempt to celebrate the banal in life is to have used people from her circle as models, to have dispensed with the images of beauty of stereotyped bodies, to have introduced the everydayness of her life into art. The fact is that, behind that facade of banality, Aláez's work is full of second intentions. By questioning the stolid, unchanging altar of art with perishable objects and photographs that talk of fashion and the ephemeral, by eliminating the barriers that separate art from everyday life, her objects and photographs being about a kind of democratising state to which everyone is granted admittance. In a way, Aláez's work achieves the old avantgarde desire to bring together art and life. If in the days of the avantgardes that slogan had been taken in the grandiose, dramatic sense, trying to raise life to the level of art, the Basque artist, on the other hand, has lowered art to the level of life, everyday life. An accessible, seductive art which also glorifies the everyday, the contrived and the perishable which characterise our lives, offering her models and the spectator an opportunity to feel that they are seductive stars at all times. And so Jenny appears, portrayed in a timeless, seductive image. For other photographs, such as Maniguet, Aláez made objects which were both sculptures and clothing accessories which were later to disappear; in Jenny, however, we see the subject kneeling and offering us a tray with two objects by the same artist: Piel de naranja, 1994. As usual, it is an object made with common materials (hook and wire) transformed sculpturally as a do-it-yourself object. But, unlike other works by the artist, done to be or directly represent some kind of clothing, in this case it is a highly metaphoric object. It is a representation of what remains of an orange, but the body of the orange does not exist; as in Mujeres sobre zapatos de plataforma, only the skin remains, the clothing, the "orange's garment", which is what supplies it with identity. Once again Aláez is telling us that the naked body does not exist, but what does exist is its outward appearance, what we apparently do not regard as transcendent, but which gives us form and identity.

Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist

  • Muff / 1995

  • Waists I / 1994

  • Women on Platform Shoes / 1992

  • Lamp / 1999

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